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Daily Devotional Genesis 6:1–8

Genesis 6:1–8 is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in the Old Testament. The passage describes the “sons of God” intermarrying with the “daughters of humans” (v. 2). This intermarriage brought about God’s judgment on humanity and was a part of the sin that led to the great flood (vv. 3–8). So, you might wonder, what is going on here?

Every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.


There are three main views regarding this intermarriage. Some argue that the “sons of God” were angels who were violating distinctions between the heavenly and earthly realms by intermarrying with human women. The phrase “sons of God” is used to describe angels elsewhere in Scripture (for example, Job 1:6). Another view is that it refers to human rulers who abused their authority by forcibly taking the daughters of less powerful people in marriage. Human rulers are occasionally referred to as sons of God in Scripture (for example, 2 Sam. 7:14). Finally, some assert that it is the godly line of Seth intermarrying with the ungodly line of Cain.

It is helpful to consider other Bible passages. God does not get upset at angelic beings, but at humans (Gen. 6:3). Jesus taught that angels do not marry and cannot be given in marriage (Matt. 22:30). If that is so, it seems that “the sons of man” refers to human rulers who abused their power. They “saw” that the daughters of men were “beautiful” (literally “good”) and they “married” (literally “took”) these women. These words (saw, good, took) are the same ones used to describe Eve’s actions in the account of the Fall (Gen. 3:6). People in authority often abuse their positions of influence. Jesus came to show us a different way. He came “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). This passage reminds us of the need for the redemption and forgiveness we can receive in Christ.

Go Deeper

What are the three possible interpretations for Genesis 6:1–8? What was the consequence of this sinful act?

Pray with Us

Father, search our hearts and show us if we are failing to do the right thing in any area of life. Convict us if we are taking advantage of others or violating our integrity. Forgive us and bless our efforts to do right.

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